Sometimes, when I try using a special character (⌥+U for ¨) a strange bar will appear at the bottom of my screen. This doesn't happen every time, just on and off for no apparent reason. I haven't changed any Safari settings or preferences since upgrading to Lion, and I'm using Safari 5.1.

Could anyone explain what this is and why it's appearing when I try using my special characters?

  • Can you give us some more context in the screenshot? It isn't clear where the bar is located or what UI element it's attached to.
    – NReilingh
    Aug 18 '11 at 23:17
  • That's the thing, I can't get it to appear again. It has a mind of it's own, it seems. I'll explain the best I can: the bar is located at the bottom of the screen, (where the silver bar with nothing on it is located) and replaces that silver bar at random. Aug 18 '11 at 23:20
  • The silver bar in question will disappear when you push ⌘+/. Aug 18 '11 at 23:21
  • ⌘+/ is the shortcut to hide and show the Status bar, which is a widely used feature and actually should not look like that. You can enable it from the View menu and it will show you where a link leads when you hover over it.
    – NReilingh
    Aug 19 '11 at 4:37
  • @NReilingh the picture in my question appears over the status bar. Aug 20 '11 at 0:28

That looks like the front-end processor window for some non-Roman scripts. This gets pretty far into the weeds if you don't normally use them, but in case you're curious:

With a writing system like Japanese, you type using English characters to produce phonetic Japanese characters, and then convert those into ideograms. For the most part, this happens "inline", that is, right where the cursor is, wherever you'd be typing if you were typing in English. Back in the old days, however, it happened in a separate window (the FEP window), and once you had a chunk of text composed in that, you'd send it to the main window.

I use Japanese on my system. The FEP window still exists, and every once in a while it will pop up for a second—then the system seems to get its composure back and I go back to inline typing. I'm guessing that you're trying to produce a character that involves multiple keystrokes, like ü, and somehow that's invoking the FEP window. I can't say why it's happening or how to stop it, but in my experience it is harmless.


Is this the result of an extension you have installed in Safari? Try disabling all extensions and re-enabling one at a time and see if you can recreate the phenomenon.

  • I have not installed any extensions. Thanks though! Aug 19 '11 at 0:43

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